Don: Those who buy Datukships lack confidence

(The Star) – Those who pay for “illegitimate titles” like Datukships have low self-esteem and lack confidence, says an academic.

Associate Professor Dr P. Sundra­moorthy of Universiti Sains Malay­sia’s School of Social Sciences said it was sad that some people depended on titles to make themselves feel important.

He added that some might think that having the titles would help in their businesses or entitle them to receive “special treatment”.

“This is unnecessary and merely a false perception of the public.

“We are heading in the wrong direction where people think the more titles the better,” he said.

Dr Sundramoorthy said society had become very status-conscious, prompting some people to look for “shortcuts to be acknowledged as somebody”.

“The truth will prevail and you will become the laughing stock,” he added.

However, Dr Sundramoorthy said he respected those who were conferred Datukships and other titles as a result of their contributions to society and the well-being of the nation.

“I congratulate these people, they deserve the recognition,” he said.

Dr Sundramoorthy advised those who intended to spend big bucks on unrecognised titles to use the money for good deeds.

He also appealed to people to help eradicate such practices by not acknowledging those who obtained the titles through illegitimate channels.

The Star reported yesterday that Undang Luak Naning, a customary chieftain in Malacca, has handed out scores of unrecognised Datukships and other titles to the people, who “contributed” to the Naning Ter­ritory.

Another self-claimed “Malacca-Perak Sultan” Ahmad Shah Raja Noor Jan Shah also awarded titles to over 90 people.

These awards, carrying the titles like “Dato Seri”, “Dato”, “Datuk Paduka and Datuk Seri Paduka, are not recognised anywhere in the country.